BOP posts $38 million surplus in September

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - October 19, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines continued to maintain a healthy external payments position in September, reflecting the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals and firm growth prospects, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The country’s balance of payments (BOP) position posted a surplus for the third straight month at $38 million in September, reversing the $2.69 billion deficit recorded in the same month last year.

“The country’s external position is reflective of an economy driven by solid macroeconomic fundamentals and firm growth prospects,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.

Diokno said reliable inflows from overseas Filipino remittances and net inflows from foreign portfolio investments or hot money continued to drive the surplus.

He said foreign direct investments in the last two years have also lent support to the country’s external account along with rising investor confidence.

The BOP is the difference in total values between payments into and out of the country over a period.

A surplus means more foreign exchange flowed in from exports, remittances from overseas Filipinos, business process outsourcing earnings and tourism receipts that what flowed out to pay for the importation of more goods, services and capital.

The BSP said inflows in September were reflected in the national government’s net foreign currency deposits and the central bank’s income from its investments abroad.

The inflows, the central bank said, were offset by outflows representing payments made by the national government on its foreign exchange obligations.

Latest data released by the BSP showed the Philippines booked a BOP surplus of $5.57 billion from January to September, erasing the $5.14 billion deficit recorded in the same period last year.

“The surplus may be attributed partly to personal remittance inflows from overseas Filipinos and net inflows of foreign direct investments,” the BSP said.

The BSP expects the Philippines to book a BOP surplus of $3.7 billion this year, reversing the $2.3 billion deficit recorded last year.

Latest data showed personal remittances from Filipinos abroad went up by 3.6 percent to $21.99 billion from January to August compared to $21.22 billion in the same period last year, while cash remittances coursed through banks went up by 3.9 percent to $19.81 billion from $19.06 billion.         

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